[Ip-health] Decision for WIPO GA 49: Matters Concerning the IGC on IP and genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore

Thirukumaran Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Tue Jul 26 03:43:30 PDT 2011


Please click on link for to read the Decision: http://keionline.org/node/1191


Decision for WIPO GA 49: Matters Concerning the IGC on IP and genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore


After ten years of deliberations, the 19th session (18-22 July 2011) of the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC/GRTKF) submitted a Decision for approval to the WIPO General Assembly (26 September-5 October 2011) that could pave the way for the General Assembly in 2012 to convene a Diplomatic Conference on an international legal instrument(s) for the protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions (TCEs).

Three thematic meetings of the IGC will be scheduled in 2012 prior to the General Assembly next year. The first thematic IGC in 2012 is scheduled for eight days in February 2012 and will focus on genetic resources. As the WIPO text for genetic resources (WIPO/GRTKF/IC/19/7) [1] is the least mature and only consists of draft objectives and principles, the lengthened eight day meeting (including a Saturday session) is intended to hammer out a text of an international legal  instrument for the protection of genetic resources. The thematic meeting for traditional knowledge is scheduled for April/May 2012, and the thematic meeting for traditional cultural expressions is scheduled for July 2012. The texts of international legal instrument(s) produced from the three thematic IGCs will be submitted to the WIPO General Assembly in 2012. The Assembly "will take stock of and consider the text(s), progress made and decide on convening a Diplomatic Conference, and will consider the need for additional meetings, taking account of the  budgetary process."

The implications of any future sui generis WIPO treaties for the protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore on the knowledge ecosystem is still an open question; 2012 should prove a testing time for WIPO as competing visions on the role of mandatory requirements for disclosure of genetic resources and patents on life come to a head.

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Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)

thiru at keionline.org



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